She came to the media limelight just after her husband won 2013 general elections. Margaret Gakuo Kenyatta is the wife of Kenyan fourth president Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and the first lady of Kenya.
She was very instrumental in her husband’s campaign. Margaret, from the family of Gakuos, stands out as the best first lady Kenya has had since independence. She has won both local and international awards.
Margaret has been running a campaign since 2014 to reduce child maternal mortality rates; the campaign dubbed Beyond Zero has raised millions in changing the lives of women.
According to the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women and Children’s Health 2013 Update Report, fifteen women die every day due to pregnancy related complications in Kenya and 20% of these deaths are AIDS-related.
The Campaign which is now in over 42 countrywide, has given a lot of hope to women in the country.
“I was deeply saddened by the fact that women and children in our country die from causes that can be avoided. It doesn’t have to be this way,” said Mrs. Kenyatta. “This is why I am launching the ‘Beyond Zero Campaign’ which will bring prenatal and postnatal medical treatment to women and children in our country.”
Donors and private sector organizations have been supportive in donating funds to purchase mobile clinics that have provided integrated HIV, maternal and child health outreach services in the country.
For instance, the Ministry of Health invested an estimate of US$ 400 million in 2014 towards initiatives to reduce HIV transmission and maternal and child mortality, to increase the number of skilled health care providers and to equip the existing facilities with relevant supplies.
The ‘Beyond Zero campaign’ is part of the initiatives outlined in the Strategic Framework for the engagement of the First Lady in HIV control and promotion of maternal, newborn and child health in Kenya.
The strategic framework was unveiled on World AIDS Day 2013. It aims to galvanize high-level leadership in ending new HIV infections among children and reducing HIV related deaths among women and children in Kenya.
The framework focused on five key areas: Accelerating HIV programs, influencing investment in high impact activities to promote maternal health, child health and HIV control, mobilizing men as clients, partners and agents of change, involving communities to address barriers to accessing HIV, maternal and child health services and providing leadership, accountability and recognition to accelerate the attainment of HIV maternal and child health targets.
The First Lady Margaret Kenyatta draws her passion for Beyond Zero campaign from a past incident where she lost one of her children during child birth, about 20 years ago.
The second-born baby girl after Jomo Kenyatta died immediately she was born. It is due to that trauma that the First Lady got her passion for maternal health.
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Margaret also organizes the populous annual First Lady marathon which raises funds for the Beyond Zero campaign.
Margaret plays vital role and will be instrumental a head of fourth coming elections courtesy of her wholeheartedness and willingness to address women and children affairs as women want more of her leadership.
She is the hope to vulnerable women that were previously unable to access medication due to high costs.
Margaret is truly the first lady that any woman in Kenya and the entire world should embrace.